Walking the cows in for milking has to be the best part of the job. It is, especially on sunny evenings, a bit of a family affair. This evening while the father of the house was getting the parlour ready for the arrival of the cows, I watched on as our sons cycled wildly around the yard. They screamed, oinked, woo-who-ed into the late Spring evening, uninhibited, drunk on the freedom of the open air.
They cycle with their Dad back the road, chatting animatedly about their day. Our six year old who has, since the weekend, cycled without stabilizers, come to realize that sunshine and outdoors does an everyday adventure make. ‘Look at me’, he squeals, ‘check it out’ he shows off to us, his adoring fans. It doesn’t feel like that long since I waddled back the road for the cows with him tucked up inside me and now here I am with the three of them marching down for the cows. The baby and I walk in front of the cows as the farmer lets the them onto the road. The cows, mind you, are not in any rush as they meander up the road for milking. Sometimes, a neighbour might be stopped waiting for the cows to pass and self consciously, I will the cows to move a little faster, but they rarely oblige. All in good time. Luckily, we have very patient neighbours who wait for the cows to make the turn into the yard followed by Dan and his little cyclists so that they can pass by safely.
The six year old continues to pontificate as his father ties a wire behind the cows in the parlour yard, his little brother agreeing heartedly with everything his hero says, while the baby pulls out of my arms, trying to join the gang. They cackle away, making their own voices heard asserting their own position in the family, as the farmer and myself share a ‘we did good’ glance at each other across the cows, our small people and the magnificent Spring evening.